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Akonni Biosystems Wins NIH Grant to Develop Low-Cost NA Isolation Device

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Akonni Biosystems said today that it has received a $281,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a fully automated sample prep workstation to isolate nucleic acids from lysis-resistant targets.

Frederick, Md.-based Akonni said that the system will combine its MagVor mechanical cell lysis and TruTip nucleic acid purification technologies in a "single low-cost platform" that will initially be used for general research and eventually for clinical applications.

The platform will be designed primarily to purify nucleic acid from Gram-positive bacteria such as staphylococci, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; streptococci; and mycobacteria, such as tuberculosis.

Akonni also noted that the platform will initially be ideal for purifying nucleic acids from complex clinical matrices including blood and nasopharyngeal specimens and eventually for a range of mold and spore samples.

"This new platform will be compatible with a simple-to-use consumable kit and will be capable of purifying nucleic acid from 12 samples in less than 20 minutes, making it valuable to a broad range of molecular and hospital laboratories, including those operating in global health settings," Christopher Cooney, principal investigator on the project and director of engineering at Akonni Biosystems, said in a statement.

The Scan

Another Resignation

According to the Wall Street Journal, a third advisory panel member has resigned following the US Food and Drug Administration's approval of an Alzheimer's disease drug.

Novavax Finds Its Vaccine Effective

Reuters reports Novavax's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19.

Can't Be Used

The US Food and Drug Administration says millions of vaccine doses made at an embattled manufacturing facility cannot be used, the New York Times reports.

PLOS Papers on Frozen Shoulder GWAS, Epstein-Barr Effects on Immune Cell Epigenetics, More

In PLOS this week: genome-wide association study of frozen shoulder, epigenetic patterns of Epstein-Barr-infected B lymphocyte cells, and more.